The Film Police recently sat down with Writer and Actor, Omari Washington, for his latest indie short-film, Gracefully Broken! A story about a man at the end of his rope, until he becomes the saving grace for another.
Check out our discussion below:
TFP: Thanks for meeting with us, Omari! How does it feel to have such a well-received project on your hands?
O: It feels beyond amazing, and surreal! This is such a liberating moment for me because I've been paving my own way in the TV and Film industry for 18 plus years now, and all the hard work is finally paying off!
TFP: Initially, what was the thing that connected you with this project, and ultimately, this character?
O: The thing that connected me to the vision for this project was the pain I was dealing with a year prior to writing this story! I was broken, and in a very dark space at the time. I wasn't sure if I was going to win the battle. I told myself, if I make it out of the situation better than I entered it, then I would use my story to encourage and inspire others to never give up; and that's what happened.
TFP: This is a heavy project, with a touching message and powerful acting. What was your biggest challenge in giving such a performance?
O: My biggest challenge was re-opening those old wounds from my traumatic past, which meant I had to be more vulnerable than usual. Ironically, enough, some of the scenes in the film really challenged me to let go, and heal emotionally. even though the process was uncomfortable at times, I came out of this better than I started, which is a huge victory in my book! Also, making this film was therapeutic in a lot of ways.
TFP: Have you ever struggled with the low lows of life, like Alex does in Gracefully Broken? If so, how did you handle that?
O: Yes, I've struggled before, and still do at times. I deal with depression and suicidal thoughts almost everyday. Some day are better than others. I try to handle the struggle with grace and dignity now, because of the understanding I have for my journey. Back then, I didn't have a true understanding of life, the way I do now, so the process was a lot harder for me then. Now, I handle my anxieties by doing things that help to balance out my emotions, like meditating, hiking, doing yoga, exercising and talking with loved ones.
TFP: How would you recommend others to handle those same low moments in life?
O: I would recommend others to seek professional help from a therapist first, because they have the necessary resources and tools to properly help someone move forward emotionally, and mentally.
TFP: This film is heavy, and touches on some very real issues, but we imagine the set to be a lot of fun! How was that experience?
O: The experience on set was great! Everyone involved had much more passion, and energy than required for this project and that's what made this process a fun, and memorable one.
TFP: Gracefully Broken has won many awards so far, including Best Actor and Best Drama! How has the festival circuit been? Any highlight moments?
O: The festival circuit has LOVED Gracefully Broken! I feel like a lot of judges are inspired and touched by the story. A highlight moment for me would have to be when the film was officially selected at the Chicago Indie Film Awards in my hometown of Chicago, Illinois! That moment was validating on so many levels. That moment said "I've arrived" in the TV and Film industry, in a very big way!
Be sure to check out Omari Washington's official sites to keep up with him and his latest projects!